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Old 04-23-2019, 04:12 AM   #1
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Roof raise guide - tools to align as it goes up?

I'm having trouble finding more details on how/where people are doing the items that hold the 4 corners of the bus while the roof is being raised. I'd love some slick ideas.

Looks like threaded rod fed through two pieces affixed to the inside of the hat channel, with some bolts to hold it in place as you extend it up.

Do people sell these prebuilt to save others more engineering time?

Thanks!

Dave aka Ghan
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Old 04-23-2019, 05:38 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by Ghaniba View Post
I'm having trouble finding more details on how/where people are doing the items that hold the 4 corners of the bus while the roof is being raised. I'd love some slick ideas.

Looks like threaded rod fed through two pieces affixed to the inside of the hat channel, with some bolts to hold it in place as you extend it up.

Do people sell these prebuilt to save others more engineering time?

Thanks!

Dave aka Ghan
Nothing prebuilt necessary. Buy some all-thread, some nuts, and some tubing and that's all you need. Well, a welder too.
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Old 04-23-2019, 06:18 AM   #3
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Nothing prebuilt necessary. Buy some all-thread, some nuts, and some tubing and that's all you need. Well, a welder too.
Awesome. Curious if anyone has any estimation of the weight of the roof. How much welding do you do for those? Must be a balance - more weld is safer, less weld is less grinding. Thinking 1" top and bottom of each side of each of the 4 tubes. Thoughts?

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Old 04-23-2019, 06:53 AM   #4
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Awesome. Curious if anyone has any estimation of the weight of the roof. How much welding do you do for those? Must be a balance - more weld is safer, less weld is less grinding. Thinking 1" top and bottom of each side of each of the 4 tubes. Thoughts?

Dave aka Ghan
Very little welding needed.
The roof isn't as heavy as it looks. Its basically a large sheet of 18ga. Folks WAY overestimate how heavy it is when planning a raise.
I'm not sure what you mean by less time grinding. I didn't do any grinding, just welding.
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Old 04-23-2019, 07:02 AM   #5
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Very little welding needed.

The roof isn't as heavy as it looks. Its basically a large sheet of 18ga. Folks WAY overestimate how heavy it is when planning a raise.

I'm not sure what you mean by less time grinding. I didn't do any grinding, just welding.
I would assume you removed the welded on raising devices? Or did you bolt yours on somehow?

Curious, what gauge does everyone user for the new sides? 18 guage as well? I think I've heard people say 20gauge?

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Old 04-23-2019, 07:34 AM   #6
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I would assume you removed the welded on raising devices? Or did you bolt yours on somehow?

Curious, what gauge does everyone user for the new sides? 18 guage as well? I think I've heard people say 20gauge?

Dave aka Ghan
ah, yeah those I did cut off with an angle grinder.
That part's super easy!
Anything thinner than 18ga is a pita to work with and is overkill. The buses I've got are all right around 18ga for skins. The hat channels are right around 14ga.
20ga is pretty thin. I've used it for a couple windows a friend wanted deleted and it turned out alright.
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Old 04-23-2019, 08:00 AM   #7
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I've still got my raise mechanism. I'll sell them to you if you want. Shipping might be expensive. PM me about the lift mechanism. I welded them on, then cut them off. If I did it again. I would use a few bolts to attach them to the ribs.

You want to level the bus front to back and left to right. You need some heavy duty bottle Jack's and wood for "cribbing". Basically little wood pyramids to support the frame. You need to stabilize the frame so it doesn't flex when you pop the top. The weight of the engine can flex the frame. Once you frame is stabilized and level, hang a plumb line at the front and rear and mark an x on the floor. That's how you will know your roof went up perfectly straight.


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Old 04-23-2019, 08:16 AM   #8
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You want to level the bus front to back and left to right. You need some heavy duty bottle Jack's and wood for "cribbing". Basically little wood pyramids to support the frame. You need to stabilize the frame so it doesn't flex when you pop the top. The weight of the engine can flex the frame. Once you frame is stabilized and level, hang a plumb line at the front and rear and mark an x on the floor. That's how you will know your roof went up perfectly straight.
This is just to be more precise, right? If the measurements between all of the cuts is exactly matching, it can't really be off, can it? Or is there something I'm missing? I think it'd be a good idea to level off the frame. Wonder if my big Jack stands will reach that high...
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Old 04-23-2019, 08:22 AM   #9
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I've still got my raise mechanism. I'll sell them to you if you want. Shipping might be expensive. PM me about the lift mechanism. I welded them on, then cut them off. If I did it again. I would use a few bolts to attach them to the ribs.

You want to level the bus front to back and left to right. You need some heavy duty bottle Jack's and wood for "cribbing". Basically little wood pyramids to support the frame. You need to stabilize the frame so it doesn't flex when you pop the top. The weight of the engine can flex the frame. Once you frame is stabilized and level, hang a plumb line at the front and rear and mark an x on the floor. That's how you will know your roof went up perfectly straight.


Check my instagram for some pics... 5speedhouse
Yup I did all that. Good advice.
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Old 04-23-2019, 08:23 AM   #10
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This is just to be more precise, right? If the measurements between all of the cuts is exactly matching, it can't really be off, can it? Or is there something I'm missing? I think it'd be a good idea to level off the frame. Wonder if my big Jack stands will reach that high...
basically yeah. you measure carefully and its pretty easy.
Its really easy to overthink it and make it harder than need be.
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Old 05-05-2019, 04:05 PM   #11
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Ahem, pardon me... but would 1/4” all thread work for this purpose? Or should I go bigger...?
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Old 05-05-2019, 04:41 PM   #12
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Ahem, pardon me... but would 1/4 all thread work for this purpose? Or should I go bigger...?

Way too small. 1/2" at minimum.
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Old 05-05-2019, 05:46 PM   #13
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Ahem, pardon me... but would 1/4 all thread work for this purpose? Or should I go bigger...?
3/4" minimum if you don't want to bend em like the roof fail thread
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Old 05-05-2019, 07:33 PM   #14
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We used 1" and I would do exactly the same again.

Between the lift mechanism and the c channel that we clamped into the hat channel, the roof required no help with alignment.

Read some build threads. Mine has a fair number of pictures of my roof raise and lift mechanism.
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Old 05-05-2019, 08:31 PM   #15
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Way too small. 1/2" at minimum.
I went 3/4". I think I'd go bigger next time just to keep it from swaying in the breeze any.
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Old 05-05-2019, 09:34 PM   #16
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I think I used 5/8 threaded rod...I wanted 3/4 but I bought whatever was available at the home depot. I did also have 6 lift points. Front mid and back. The six points let's you take out any sag in the middle. I think 1 inch is prolly overkill.
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Old 05-05-2019, 09:37 PM   #17
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I think I used 5/8 threaded rod...I wanted 3/4 but I bought whatever was available at the home depot. I did also have 6 lift points. Front mid and back. The six points let's you take out any sag in the middle. I think 1 inch is prolly overkill.
Mine didn't sag and I only used 4 rods.
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Old 05-06-2019, 03:50 AM   #18
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Interesting timing! I literally just cut off my roof raising widgets last night.

I ended up doing 3' of 1" all thread, couple of washers, a good thick wall round tube, and to space mine off we used the same 1-1/4 sq tubing.


20190428_124712.jpg

We did also not put them at the 4 outer corners, we moved them both in a couple of positions to more evenly distribute the weight. We experienced no sag.

Speaking of sag. I have a theory...

I did not jack up or level my bus at all. My reasoning for this is that the structure sits this way it's entire life, any modification to this would actually be causing more stress to the build when you lower it back down. They do sell trucks as cab and chassis -- it by itself must be structurally sound. That's how many specialty rigs are built. With that said, I did my lift on level concrete, to be sure it was a natural resting position.




Couple of notes I found as well: The SQ tubing was unable to be pushed in while the lift widgets were installed. Those welds held it too tight to allow for the slight flex of the hat channel as this gets sandwiched in. Maybe it was possible, but not worth the force. Once all the others were welded in, we cut off the widgets and were able to put the Sq tubing in easily, just like all the rest.

Speaking of removal. Use a cut off wheel, not a grinder to remove them. Way quicker.


20190428_175440.jpg
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Old 05-06-2019, 09:48 AM   #19
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Mine didn't sag and I only used 4 rods.
Same here.

With 1" I had a stable, solid raise with two people. I had peace of mind that it was plenty strong enough.
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